David Saul Bergman’s Unpardonable Sins Added to the U.S. Bibliography

Bergman, David Saul. Unpardonable Sins. Eugene, OR: Resource Publications, 2021.

David Saul Bergman’s (pen name of Daniel Born and Dale Suderman) mystery novel Unpardonable Sins has just been published. There are very few Mennonite mystery novels, so it is nice to see more ground being broken in that area.

UPDATE, 5 March 2021: Daniel Born kindly sent me information about two pieces, one by Suderman and one by himself, that I have added under the Bergman entry:

Born, Daniel. “From Cross to Cross-stitch: The Ascendancy of the Quilt.” Mennonite Quarterly Review 79.2 (2005): 179-90.

Suderman, Dale. “The Groenings, The Simpsons and the Mennonites.” Anabaptist World, 27 August 2007, https://anabaptistworld.org/groenings-simpsons-mennonites/.

Entries from the New Issue of the Journal of Mennonite Writing on Jane and Warren Rohrer Added

The first 2021 issue of the Journal of Mennonite Writing has just been released. It focuses on Jane and Warren Rohrer. Here are the pieces from it that I have put into the various Bibliographies:

Gray, Lois Frey, and Ann Hostetler. “Mennonite Creators’ Discussion Group, 1993-2000.” Journal of Mennonite Writing 13.1 (2021): https://mennonitewriting.org/journal/13/1/mennonite-creators-discussion-group-1993-2000/#all.

This fascinating piece, a transcript of the first meeting of the Mennonite Creators’ Discussion Group, which included the Rohrers, John L. Ruth, Julia Spicher Kasdorf, and others, is labeled as being by Gray, who did the recording and transcription, and edited by Hostetler. However, Hostetler’s role in crafting it and providing commentary on it is so extensive that I have listed it as being co-authored. I have added it to Hostetler’s and Jane Rohrer’s entries in the U.S. Bibliography, and to the General Bibliography.

Hostetler, Ann. “‘Hearing the Brush’: A Response.” Journal of Mennonite Writing 13.1 (2021): https://mennonitewriting.org/journal/13/1/hearing-brush-response/#all.

I have added this examination of the selection of Rohrer’s poetry in Field Language: The Painting and Poetry of Warren and Jane Rohrer (edited by Julia Spicher Kasdorf, Christopher Reed, and Joyce Henri Robinson) to Hostetler’s and Rohrer’s entries in the U.S. Bibliography.

Hostetler, Ann. “Making Believe: Reflections.” Journal of Mennonite Writing 13.1 (2021): https://mennonitewriting.org/journal/13/1/making-believe/.

Although the Bibliographies generally do not include book reviews, I have added this list of links to reviews of Magdalene Redekop’s Making Believe to Hostetler’s entry in the U.S. Bibliography and to Making Believe‘s entry in the General Bibliography because of the piece’s useful collation of the reviews.

Hostetler, Ann, ed. “Word and Image–Warren and Jane Rohrer.” Special Issue. Journal of Mennonite Writing 13.1 (2021): https://mennonitewriting.org/journal/13/1/.

I have added the link to the issue as a whole to Hostetler’s and Rohrer’s entries in the U.S. Bibliography.

Sofia Samatar’s Memoir The White Mosque Now Under Contract!

According to the website of Sofia Samatar’s agent, Catapult Books has acquired the rights to her memoir (scroll down to December 9, 2020), The White Mosque (read an excerpt here). This is extremely exciting news in the Mennonite literary universe! I have not heard about a publication date yet. I hope we won’t have to wait too long for it!

A Number of Works Added to the Canadian Bibliography

I recently received a helpful email from Korey Dyck of the Mennonite Heritage Centre Archives and Gallery in Winnipeg with information about some omissions in the Canadian Bibliography. The following works have been added. Most notably, an entry for the germinal science fiction writer A.E. van Vogt has been created. The bibliographical information for some of his books is still incomplete because of the ephemeral nature of pulp fiction (a term that I do not use disparagingly).

Eleanor Hildebrand Chornoboy. Faspa with Jast: A Snack of Mennonite Stories Told by Families and Guests. Winnipeg: Interior Publishing, 2007.

Nickel, Barbara. The Secret Wish of Nannerli Mozart.  Toronto: Sumach, 1996. Rpt. as The Mozart Girl, Toronto: Second Story Press, 2019.

Reimer, Al. When War Came to Kleindarp and More Kleindarp Stories. Winnipeg: Rosetta Projects, 2008.

Under Al Reimer’s criticism section: Loewen, Harry, and Al Reimer, eds. Visions and Realities: Essays, Poems and Fiction Dealing with Mennonite Issues. Winnipeg: Hyperion Press, 1985. This important book was already included in the General Bibliography, but it makes sense to have it under Reimer’s entry in the Canadian Bibliography as well.

Porter, Catherine. “Miriam Toews’s Mennonite Conscience.” New York Times, 28 March 2019, https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/28/books/miriam-toews-women-talking.html.

Under A.E. van Vogt’s section:

Slan. Sauk City, WI: Arkham House, 1946.

The Book of Ptath. Reading, PA: Fantasy Press, 1947.

The Weapon Makers. Providence, RI: Hadley Publishing, 1947. Rpt. as One Against Eternity. 1964.

The World of Null-A. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1948.

The House That Stood Still. New York: Greenberg, 1950.

The Voyage of the Space Beagle. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1950. Rpt. as Mission: Interplanetary. 1952.

The Weapon Shops of Isher. New York: Greenberg, 1951.

The Mixed Men. Gnome Press, 1952.

The Universe Maker. New York: Ace Books, 1953.

The Pawns of Null-A. New York: Ace Books, 1954. Rpt. as The Players of Null-A. 1966.

The Mind Cage. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1957.

Empire of the Atom. Chicago?: Shasta Publishers, 1957.

Siege of the Unseen. 1959. Rpt. as The Three Eyes of Evil. 1973.

The War Against the Rull. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1959.

Earth’s Last Fortress. 1960.

The Mating Cry. 1960.

The Wizard of Linn. New York: Ace Books, 1962.

The Violent Man. 1962.

The Beast. 1963. Rpt. as Moonbeast. 1969.

Rogue Ship. Garden City, New York: Doubleday, 1965.

The Changeling. 1967.

The Silkie. New York: Ace Books, 1969.

Children of Tomorrow. New York: Ace Books, 1970.

Quest for the Future. New York: Ace Books, 1970.

The Battle of Forever. 1971.

The Darkness on Diamondia. 1972.

Future Glitter. 1973. Rpt. as Tyranopolis. 1977.

The Man with a Thousand Names. New York: DAW Books, 1974.

The Secret Galactics. 1974. Rpt. as Earth Factor X. 1976.

Supermind. New York: DAW Books, 1977.

The Anarchic Colossus. 1977.

Cosmic Encounter. 1979.

Renaissance. 1979.

Computerworld. 1983. Rpt. as Computer Eye. 1985.

Null-A Three. London: Sphere Books, 1984.

A New Interview with Casey Plett Added to the Canadian Bibliography

Plett, Casey. “Casey Plett: What Does It Mean to Belong?” By Madeleine Thien and Avi Cummings. Literary Hub, 17 December 2020, https://lithub.com/casey-plett-what-does-it-mean-to-belong/.

Literary Hub just published an interview with Casey Plett about her novel Little Fish. The interview includes some clips of Plett speaking, which is cool. It has been added to her entry in the Canadian Bibliography.

A New Candidate for the First Mennonite Novel in English: Sarah A. Rohrer’s That Unknown Island Added to the U.S. Bibliography

Rohrer, Sarah A. That Unknown Island. Cleveland: Riehl Printing, n.d. (c. 1917-1930).


Rohrer, James. “That Unknown Island: Sarah A. Rohrer, Anarchist Author and Ancestor.” Journal of Mennonite Studies 38 (2020): 193-219.

I’ve been reading the 2020 issue of the Journal of Mennonite Studies, and got very excited when I read James Rohrer’s article about his great-great aunt Sarah A. Rohrer because she published a novel that may be the first Mennonite novel in English. Her novel, That Unknown Island, is undated, but was published as early as 1917, when its printer, Riehl Printing, was founded, and as late as 1930 toward the end of her life, though the article implies that it was probably at the earlier end of this range. Mabel Dunham’s The Trail of the Conestoga (1924) is currently the earliest known Mennonite novel in English, but it is fairly possible that That Unknown Island was published first. Whether this is the case or not (and from the thorough research James Rohrer seems to have done on Sarah Rohrer the definitive answer is probably lost to history), the novel is an important discovery for the field of Mennonite literature.

In light of the information in the article, I have created an entry for Sarah Rohrer in the U.S. Bibliography (she was from Ohio) that includes the novel and the article.

Julia Baker Swann’s The Moon is Always Whole Added to the U.S. Bibliography and Connie T. Braun’s The Sun in the Twelfth House Added to the Canadian Bibliography

Baker Swann, Julia. The Moon is Always Whole. Telford, PA: DreamSeeker Books, 2020.

Braun, Connie T. The Sun in the Twelfth House. North Vancouver, BC: The Alfred Gustav Press, 2020.

Two poetry collections have just come out, one from either side of the U.S.-Canada border. The Moon is Always Whole is Julia Baker Swann’s first book (though she is not a newcomer to the Mennonite literary scene), so an entry for her has been created in the U.S. Bibliography. Connie T. Braun’s latest book is a hand-sewn chapbook, and has been added to her entry in the Canadian Bibliography.

Entries from a Special Issue of Hamilton Arts & Letters on Canadian Mennonites Added to the General and Canadian Bibliographies

A special issue of Hamilton Arts & Letters entitled “No Longer Still in the Land,” edited by Grace Kehler, came out this week. Aside from the pieces below that have been added to the appropriate entries in the General and Canadian Bibliographies, the issue also includes creative work by Di Brandt, Connie T. Braun, Jonathan Dyck, and Peter Johann, plus a book review by Paul Tiessen.

Braun, Jan Guenther. “Pantries and Hauntings.” Hamilton Arts & Letters 13.2 (2020): https://samizdatpress.typepad.com/hal_magazine_thirteen-2/pantries-and-hauntings-by-jan-guenther-braun-1.html.

Kehler, Grace. “Introduction: No Longer Still in the Land: Canadian Mennonites and Affiliates.” Hamilton Arts & Letters 13.2 (2020): https://samizdatpress.typepad.com/hal_magazine_thirteen-2/introduction-by-guest-editor-grace-kehler-1.html.

Kehler, Grace, ed. “No Longer Still in the Land.” Special issue, Hamilton Arts & Letters 13.2 (2020): https://samizdatpress.typepad.com/hal_magazine_thirteen-2/hal-magazine-issue-thirteen2-cover.html?fbclid=IwAR2UCEl9Q5TWOXWAsifqJPs3r2PZoEpSeuZgNC8IKEtGItFdg12F471k2kw.

Kennel, Maxwell. “Secular Mennonites & the Violence of Pacifism: Miriam Toews at McMaster.” Hamilton Arts & Letters 13.2 (2020): https://samizdatpress.typepad.com/hal_magazine_thirteen-2/miriam-toews-violence-of-pacifism-by-maxwell-kennel-1.html.

MacDonald, Tanis. “Lectures About Mennonite Literature That I Will Never Give.” Hamilton Arts & Letters 13.2 (2020): https://samizdatpress.typepad.com/hal_magazine_thirteen-2/mennonite-literature-by-tanis-macdonald-1.html.

Neilson, Shane. “Book Review: Zero Chronology: Notes on the Use of Time in Casey Plett’s Little Fish.” Hamilton Arts & Letters 13.2 (2020): https://samizdatpress.typepad.com/hal_magazine_thirteen-2/review-casey-pletts-little-fish-by-shane-neilson-1.html.

Plett, Casey. “When Bravery is Fiction: Despair, Hope, & Expectation in the Writing of Transsexuality.” Hamilton Arts & Letters 13.2 (2020):  https://samizdatpress.typepad.com/hal_magazine_thirteen-2/when-bravery-is-fiction-by-casey-plett-1.html.

Tiessen, Hildi Froese. “Portrait of an Epidemiologist as a Young Man: Reflections on the Poetic, Peripatetic Life/Lives of David Waltner-Toews.” Hamilton Arts & Letters 13.2 (2020):  https://samizdatpress.typepad.com/hal_magazine_thirteen-2/david-waltner-toews-by-hildi-froese-tiessen-1.html.

Evie Yoder Miller’s Loyalties Added to the U.S. Bibliography

Miller, Evie Yoder. Loyalties. Scruples on the Line: A Fictional Series Set During the American Civil War, Book II. Eugene, OR: Resource Publications, 2020.

The second volume of Evie Yoder Miller’s trilogy about peace church members (some who are actual historical figures) during the American Civil War has just come out. The third volume is scheduled to come out in 2021. Loyalties has been added to Miller’s entry in the U.S. Bibliography.

Journal of Mennonite Writing Special Issue on Nick Lindsay Added to the U.S. Bibliography

Beck, Ervin, ed. “Tribute to Nick Lindsay.” Special issue, Journal of Mennonite Writing 12.2 (2020): https://mennonitewriting.org/journal/12/2/. Includes reminiscences, tributes, and poems by Ervin Beck, Nick Lindsay, Jr., Skip Barnett, Wilbur Birky, Todd Davis, Julia Friesen, Lauren Friesen, Jeff Gundy, Dennis Huffman, Bob Johnson, Julia Spicher Kasdorf, Harley King, Jessica Lapp, John Leigh, Susan Fisher Miller, Lenae Nofziger, Jeffrey S. Peachey, Sofia Samatar, Mark Sawin, David Waltner-Toews, Shari Miller Wagner, Dawn Yost, and Don Zehr; a chronology by Nick Lindsay’s children; and letters by DuBose Lindsay and Nick Lindsay.

__________. “A Tribute to Nick Lindsay.” Journal of Mennonite Writing 12.2 (2020): https://mennonitewriting.org/journal/12/2/introduction_lindsay/.

Lindsay, Nick. Yes. Bloomington, IN: Nick Lindsay, 1967.

The new issue of the Journal of Mennonite Writing is now up. The Journal took a two-issue hiatus due to the pandemic, so it is good to see it back! This issue is a tribute to Nick Lindsay, edited by Ervin Beck. Lindsay was an English professor at Goshen College for many years, and his teaching influenced a large number of Mennonite writers. He lived a fascinating, eclectic life, so the issue is worth reading for anyone interested in literature, not just those of us interested in Mennonite literature. Aside from Beck’s tribute to Lindsay, which is under Beck’s entry in the U.S. Bibliography, I have elected to simply list the issue’s homepage under Lindsay’s entry rather than break out each little piece because most of them are fairly short.

I have also added what may be Lindsay’s first chapbook, Yes, which, as Beck writes in his tribute, he (Beck) discovered “in a bin of used books” at the Indiana University bookstore, and which was missing from Lindsay’s entry.

On a separate note, it is worth noting that the ninth Mennonite/s Writing Conference was supposed to start yesterday at Goshen. It has been postponed until next October due to the pandemic, and this was obviously the correct decision (I am on the planning committee and we agreed unanimously to postpone it), but it is nevertheless sad not to be there now with friends and colleagues.

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